Well another month is over and a new one has begun, so I thought I had better reflect on May. In my reflection of May I realise just how little reading I did. No wonder I’ve felt stressed, if I don’t read enough I always get grumpy. June I must read more!
Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you for all the likes and comments in May and also a big hello to my new followers, I hope you will enjoy reading my blog.
There were good elements of May on the blog, for one thing we celebrated Star Wars Day and I have decided to tackle my first every reading challenge over the Summer, which I am very excited about.
Sadly, I only managed to read 5 rather short books over May. Here they are (if you click the picture it will take you to the review):-
Star Sullivan by Maeve Binchy
Under the Garden by Graham Greene
The Brontesaurus: An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte (and Branwell) by John Sutherland
The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen
Too Many Coincidences by Jeffrey Archer
Total pages:- 755
Total pages this year so far: 7420
Rather disappointing I know but fingers crossed for a better month in June.
Today’s chosen poem was chosen because I have always been interested in the mystery of Mary Celeste. The Mary Celeste washed up on the shores of the Azores islands on the 5th December 1872, the crew were nowhere to be seen, the cargo was undisturbed and the ship was completely unscathed and still able to sail. The mystery still remains unsolved.
Only the wind sings in the riggings, the hull creaks a lullaby; a sail lifts gently like a message pinned to a vacant sky. The wheel turns over bare decks, shirts flap on a line; only the song of the lapping waves beats steady time…
First mate, off-duty from the long dawn watch, begins a letter to his wife, daydreams of home.
The Captain’s wife is late; the child did not sleep and breakfast has passed… She, too, is missing home; sits down at last to eat, but can’t quite force the porridge down. She swallows hard, slices the top from her egg.
The second mate is happy A four-hour sleep, full stomach and a quiet sea are all he craves
The child now sleeps, at last, head firmly pressed into her pillow in a deep sea-dream.
Then why are the gulls wheeling like vultures in the sky? Why was the child snatched from her sleep? What drew the Captain’s cry?
Only the wind replies in the rigging, and the hull creaks and sighs, a sail spells out its message over silent skies. The wheel still turns over bare decks, shirts blow on the line; the siren-song of lapping waves still echoes over time.
Happy Friday! I hope everyone has a fab weekend planned.
There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.
George Eliot, whose real name was Mary Ann Evans was born in 1819. She was an English author, poet, journalist and translator and one of the most popular authors in the Victorian era. She passed away in 1880.
Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer that is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until then, she will write about fairy tales, monsters, magic and mythology because that’s the next best thing. She is the author of The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.
In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.
Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.
Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.
As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks.
With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.
Thank you to NetGalley and BHC Press for granting me an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.
I was so happy that my request on NetGalley was granted for this book and a couple of days ago I started the book and to be honest finished it in a matter of hours, I simply could not put it down. Even though the book has not been published yet I am desperate for the sequel to be published.
I found the story to immediately hook me in and wanted to keep reading, the idea of a forgotten language and god suddenly arising after thousands of years was fascinating. I also thoroughly enjoyed the idea of magicians existing in the world for thousands of years hidden from mankind but one human has managed to get through to them and that person is Dr Penelope Bryne.
Penelope has always loved the mystery of Atlantis and even though people make fun of her she never gives up trying to find it and prove that it exists. I loved her drive and passion in the book, she is a massively strong character but also has her weaknesses but she knows how to control this using her yoga and meditation practises. I have never had much time for yoga but reading this book has made me want to try it again.
The setting of the book was beautifully chosen, what better place to choose than Venice? I would love to visit Venice because it always strikes me as a magical place especially when Carnivale is taking place. I hope in the next books Venice will feature heavily and we get to see more of the catacombs and hidden parts of Venice.
The seven magicians were brilliant as they all have their own individual characters which comes through their magic. So each magician engages their magic differently depending on how their magic is formed and created. They all reminded me of Greek Gods and by their descriptions they look like Greek Gods as well. Although they also seem like teenagers when left unattended by a responsible person for too long. All in all it seems like a fun place to be when they are all playing around.
I loved this book so much I have actually pre-ordered the hardback of the book to read again and hopefully one day will have a hardback sequel to add to the collection. I highly recommend this book to fantasy and history lovers. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons and cannot wait to read it again.
I hope everyone has bookish plans for the weekend.
My chosen poem for this week celebrates books, so it is a brilliant poem obviously.
There Is No Frigate Like A Book
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away, Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – This Travel may the poorest take Without offence of Toll – How frugal is the Chariot That bears the Human soul.
Emily Dickinson 1830-1886 and was an American poet. While Dickinson was a prolific poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly 1800 poems were published during her lifetime. The poems published then, were usually edited significantly to fit conventional poetic rules. Her poems were unique for her era.
The Brontësaurus: An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë (and Bramwell) by John Sutherland
About the author
John Sutherland is Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus at University College London and an eminent scholar in the field of Victorian fiction. He has published many books including a literary puzzle book called Who is Dracula’s Father?
Did Charlotte Brontë take opium? Did the Reverend Brontë carry a loaded pistol? What, precisely, does ‘wuthering’ mean?
Distinguished literary critic John Sutherland takes an idiosyncratic look at the world of the Brontës, from the bumps on Charlotte’s head to the nefarious origins of Mr Rochester’s fortune, by way of astral telephony, letter-writing dogs, an exploding peat bog, and much, much more.
Also features ‘Jane Eyre abbreviated’ by John Crace, author of the Guardian’s ‘Digested Reads’ column – read Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece in five minutes!
I received this book as a Christmas present off my sister in law last Christmas and since then it has been on one of my many TBR piles around the house. When I was waiting for a student to arrive this week I picked up the book and started reading and to be honest I was hooked.
I loved reading this book as it was a fresh take on the Brontë history and not to be taken completely seriously. Most of it I knew as I have read a lot about the Brontës and have visited the Brontë museum twice in recent years. I did realise a lot of it was Sutherlands’s opinions and some of them to be honest were rather sexist but considering he was thinking in Victorian terms I will forgive him, just this once.
I really liked how the book was laid out and that it was short snippets of information which were easy to digest and engaging. The only issue that drove me slightly insane was the constant see this below or above. I could have easily done without that as I found it broke up the narrative.
Bramwell the somewhat forgotten Brontë is mentioned quite a bit in this book which I found interesting as I did not know that much about him. It also made me feel slightly sorry for the poor man as I think generally too much was asked from him and he could not cope.
Charlotte I believe was not portrayed in a good light and yes I know that she could have destroyed a lot of her sisters’ works etc but none of this is proven. I want to believe that she did all her actions for a good cause and wanted to protect her siblings’ reputations rather than promote her own.
The history of the Brontës always makes me feel rather sad as they had such hard and short lives. However, this book showed me the good elements, like their love of animals and the little things in life. It made me smile and happy to realise that although cut short they tried to live their lives to the best.
All in all I enjoyed this book immensely and could not put it down which is unusual for me as I usually struggle with nonfiction books and tend to steer clear of them. Due to these reasons I have rated the book 5 out of 5 Dragons. If you love all things Brontë I highly recommend it.
Super excited about my new books as they are to do with my upcoming honeymoon. Yes the husband and myself have finally saved enough for our dream honeymoon and we are going to Hawaii! As you can see in the photo Pan our cat is really not bothered by my new books.
This meant that we had to get some holiday guide books and so I immediately bought two with the best reviews. One for Hawaii in general and one for Maui where we are staying. I hope they will be good. I have had a flick through and already found a list of activities I would like to do, not entirely sure my husband agrees with some of the choices, but we will see.
This is the first Eyewitness Travel guide I have had but it had excellent reviews on Amazon so I hope it proves useful.
I think this should prove to be good as I know a few fellow book dragons who love the Lonely Planet guides. Don’t think I will be surfing like the person on the front cover though.
So here are my new books that I will be reading and planning with soon.
I will also be looking for books to read when I am on the plane for many, many hours so any recommendations would be gratefully received. Also if you have been to Hawaii or live in Hawaii please feel free to recommend places to visit. Would love to hear other people’s opinions on places. Thanks.
Graham Greene (1904-1991) wrote over twenty novels, including the masterpieces The Power and the Glory and The Heart of the Matter, as well as three volumes of autobiography, four travel books and essays, short stories, plays and numerous book and film reviews.
Strange characters and mysterious threats will keep readers enraptured in this tale of a man who revisits his childhood home and recalls a youthful adventure “under the garden”.
This short story first appeared in A Sense of Reality, I have read it as a Penguin 60 but it is available in the Graham Greene Twenty-One Stories.
So this is my first read of the Penguin 60’s that I bought whilst on holiday, at 87 pages long it did not take me long to read.
The story is based on Wilditch, a man who has health problems, returning to his childhood home and reliving an adventure he had in the garden as a child. The question is did it really happen or is it a young boy’s imagination running wild?
Wilditch is clearly a man of the world, he has been in WWII and has traveled almost everywhere but now he is back in England at his childhood home trying to decide what to do next with his health. Wilditch is clearly very different from his brother and was obviously different to his mother who sounds like a real awkward character who hates mistakes, fantasy and rejoices in cold hard facts, not an ideal mother when you are a child with a wild imagination. It is no wonder that Wilditch spent all his time as a child in the garden and when he was old enough left home as soon as he could.
Wilditch’s memory of his childhood adventure is amazingly vivd and made me wonder how a child could make up such an adventure and all the details of the conversations he had. The story left me wanting to know more and desperately wanting Wilditch to go back to the garden and check the story and although he does it still doesn’t answer all my questions.
I enjoyed the story but just felt dissatisfied at the end and wanting more which is the reason I only gave the story 3 out of 5 Dragons. A good little read and I think I will get the complete short stories and have a read of those as well.